Interview The Interviewer

I haven’t gone on a professional job interview in eight years, but I do keep my resume recent since it will determine if I get to the next step, the interview. During an interview we all know the answers to most of the standard questions that are asked, but do we know what questions we should ask?

If you have been out of the job search market for a while you will need to brush up on your interviewing skills.  It’s not the interviewing you learned BC (before computers). You can have a face-to-face interview, a phone interview, a video interview and/or a combination interview.

 

The days of the interviewer asking if we have any questions, and we smile and say “no” are gone.  Don’t fret that is a good thing, because we all have unanswered questions after an interview.

First of all you should ask a couple of questions that you have prepared beforehand.   This will show the interviewer that you are interested in the position, and you will get answers to questions that are not on the company website or in their handbook.  It’s a win, win situation.

 

There have been a lot of articles written about this subject. Here are some questions that I think a person should ask when interviewing for a job.

  • What is a typical day for a person in this position? This question is important because you will be able to gain some insight into the structure of the work day for this position.  You will also learn what specific skills that are needed for this job.
  • What is the culture of the company?  This helps you know the company’s values, their beliefs and their working environment. You would be surprised that this question does not get asked.  You must be able to fit into the company to have a great working relationship.  We have all gone places, and thought that this is not for us. We have all felt like a fish out of water.
  • What are the expectations for this position in the next 30 days, 6 months–a year and beyond? This will tell you what the company is expecting from you if you get this position.
  • What’s did the previous holders of this position consider to be the hardest part of it, or what do you consider to be the most challenging part of the position? Even great positions have something that is somewhat challenging.
  • What is the average employment stay with the company?  This will show you if they promote from within.
  • Can you see where the position is housed?  This will enable you to see where you will perform the job duties.  You will also be able to talk with people who will be your coworkers.

If your interview consist of interviewing with multiple persons at different times, you can ask them some of the same questions, and you can also ask others that you jotted down while doing your research of the company.  Asking questions shows the interviewers that you are serious about the position.

Remember to send a thank you note–handwritten. You can also email a thank you letter, but not in place of the handwritten thank you note. Be sure to thank the receptionist/secretary when you leave–they have the ear of the boss, and their opinion counts.

If you really want the position, you will have questions about it?  Remember thisisyourbestyear“.  Interview the interviewer.

 

Do You Have Enough To Retire?

The article below is an interesting article on how much the average household nearing retirement has in savings for the retirement years. How much do you have in your retirement account?

Take a look at the article written by Austin Smith for Motley Fool.  Can you really retire comfortably?

The Average American Household Approaching Retirement Has This Amount Saved Up

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Save and invest for a comfortable retirement.

The Texas Conference For Women Is Sold Out–But!

The amazing Texas Conference for Women in Austin, Texas on November 15, 2016 is officially sold out.

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As luck would have it, there may be a way to get tickets to attend this sold out event. You can put your name on a list to grab tickets if they become available. If you want to hear great speakers, be inspired, attend wonderful workshops, network with women who are on the move and so much more, you need to try as hard as possible to attend this event. To try for tickets click please let me get a ticket. Hope you are lucky!  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

 

 

They Still Got It

Yes I was in the dreaded middle seat, but I didn’t have to pay for my luggage, and I don’t fight for overhead space–I just checked my luggage, and  the crew always seem to be nice–I was flying home on Southwest Airlines.  The latest issue of their magazine caught my attention, it’s their anniversary edition touting they (Southwest Airlines) still got it.

What caught my attention was the cover featuring what I thought were two flight attendants.  Well it turned out to be the same person, flight attendant Sandra Force, and she is featured in her 1971 flight attendant (stewardess) uniform, and her current flight attendant uniform. Yep, that means that she has been flying the friendly skies with Southwest Airlines for 45 years.  She looks amazing. 

Southwest Airline

Inside the magazine you find information about this lovely woman of a certain age along with another flight attendant, C. J. Bostic who has also worked for Southwest Airlines for 45 years.   By all accords they have no intention of retiring–they actually like their job.

Click the link to read about this two amazing  women of a certain age:  Southwest Airlines Magazine

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, and do something you enjoy like Sandra and C. J.  They still got it!  They show us that women of a certain age can’t be defined.  Got to love it! Do you still have it?

 

Leaving Home

My uncle who is 96 recently left his once beautiful home for over 60 years and moved into an assisted living facility where he has his own one bedroom apartment. This move was one that was at times easy, and other times it was gut wrenching. As one of the people in charge of this move, I called on everything in me to get through this. This journey is one that many women (and men) of a certain age will be responsible for as we mature, and our parents, aunts and uncles find they can no longer stay in their home.

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This process took a long time to complete with many different factors coming into consideration. I had not physically seen him for some time, but talked with regularly on the telephone.  He was forever telling me that he was doing just fine. Maybe physically he was, but for some unknown reason the state of his life was spiraling out of control.

When his brother, my uncle called to inform me that he had been taken to the hospital, but would be released in a few days I was a little concerned, but feeling okay since he could go to his home.  My cousin informed me that the house was no longer a home but something that was unsafe and unclean.

My cousins and I were not prepared for what we saw. Our once dapper, sharp dresser was thinner than usual which was not the shock, but he was disheveled, dirty and so unkept. This once proud man was sitting in this once grand house smiling his brilliant smile at my cousins and I.

Our mothers oldest brother could not live like this–we wouldn’t let it happen. The good part about this is that our uncle’s mind was as sharp as a tack.

Mentally there was nothing wrong and physically he was as fit as any 96-year-old could be. We immediately went into action. Since taking the truck keys would be hard and leaving home would be a hard sale, we went with home healthcare workers. The decision was made by everyone concerned, he even told us what time he wanted them to come each day–noon to 6.  While they were coming, we got together to find an assisted living home for him, one that he could make into his home.

This was not an easy chore, we did not need a nursing facility, we needed a place that had space, gave him independence, but still looked out for him.  The supervisor of the home healthcare workers was amazing, she gave us the name of someone and we were off.  We Uncle visiting Brookdale (1)visited three different ones, and all of us decided on the second one.  On the day that he was to make his visit to see if he like it, he was up, sharply dressed and ready.  He passed all of the assessments.  His only needed assistance was to make sure he took his 3 daily medications.  They could not believe he was 96 years of age.  He hadn’t had so many pictures taken in years–he was the man.

Even though the visit went great, there were still many hurdles to jump.  Some were more paperwork, doctor visits and more.  Moving day came, and the rain drops were the tears we all were feeling. To our surprise, he liked his new home!!

We know that there will be other obstacles that will come up, but we are so happy and pleased that our uncle, our mothers oldest brother is safe, clean, making new friends in his new home. He made us all remember “thisisyourbestyear”, and it is a blessing to have a great family that works together for the good of family. I love them all.

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Looking Out For Those Who Looked Out For You

One of my favorite financial columnist, Michelle Singletary recently wrote another great article.  This time the topic was about the scamming of our seniors. This is a subject that is something that I have lived through with my paternal grandmother who at the time was being taken advantage of by several solicitors.

My mother who was her daughter-in-law lived in the same town, and started to notice things were not normal, at least not normal for my grandmother.  The bank even called one day and said that my grandmother was writing checks that were not normal for her.  You may say that the teller was being nosey, but I say she was being very helpful. My grandmother always tried to go to the same teller each time she went into the bank because they would have this little conversation.

When I got to town, and checked her account, I could see that she was taking money out, and supposedly helping someone out. Both my mother and I were extremely grateful to the teller.  My grandmother was not a wealthy person, she was the type of person who stilled believed in saving certain items of clothing to wear to church and so on. I became the person who looked after her finances.

In the article Michelle talks about telephone scams, and yes most seniors still have land lines. They talk, even hold conversations with the scammers. Can you image getting a call from the IRS saying they are going to audit your account?  We, or at least we should know that this is a scam, but most seniors truly believe that they are being audited, and they want to do what is right.

Take a look at the article, and be aware of the financial activities of the seniors in your life.  Talk with them, if possible and you are close enough, take a look at bank statements?  Ask questions–why are there so many cash withdrawals?  Start a conversation and keep it going.

The link to the article is: http://www.telegram.com/article/20160412/NEWS/160419752. 

In my mind, I know that we all will get to this point in life (we will be seniors), so let’s take care of our seniors, and hope we have someone to watch out for us.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–look out for those who looked out for you.

You can follow Michelle Singletary on Twitter: @SingletaryM.

What You Get In A Room Of Outstanding Women–Knowledge

It is amazing what you can get when you have a room full of outstanding women networking and learning from each other.  The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce did exactly that at the beautiful Fort Worth Club in downtown Fort Worth.  It seemed liked everyone was there–including Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price.

This amazing program was put on by what the Fort Worth Chamber calls one of their small groups–Women Influencing Business which by the turnout is no longer a small group.  Women Influencing Business made the most of time and space by presenting two excellent programs in the span of a few knowledge filled hours.

The first part of the program was a panel (Staying on Top of Your Game!) with a question and answer section moderated by the groups’ chairperson, Anne Holland and featured three great speakers:

  • Mayor Betsy Price, Mayor of Fort Worth
  • Susan Nix, Founder of Susan Nix Consulting Group
  • Leah King, Vice President & Marketing Director of Northstar Bank

During the luncheon, just as women do–we multitasked by networking and listening to a very informative speaker–Dr. Rachel Croson of the University of Texas at Arlington.  Dr. Croson spoke on Women and Negotiation (You’ve Got the Power!).

The networking was contagious and continued even into the valet line.  Women Influencing Business had indeed gotten their message across.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”!  Stay on top of your game, and you do have the power!

 

A House Where “Sunny” Shines Bright

When I drove up to the Thornton Inn Bed and Breakfast in Arlington, Texas I was in Sunny 3love with the beautiful wrap around porch with the rocking chairs– this was my dream house.  I was there to meet the owner, businesswoman Sunny Graham.

Having heard so many wonderful things about Sunny, it was a joy to finally meet her.  We had been trying to have this conversation for well over six months.  She is exactly what her name says–Sunny.

We were given a tour of the beautiful bed and breakfast by Terrance Graham who is Sunny’s (sunny) husband.  His tour and his telling the history of the house seemed to make the house come alive. The house was constructed in 1905, and has been used for many things including a family residence and a fraternity house.

Sunny1Each of the five  bedrooms is furnished beautifully with Sunny 11equally beautiful baths.  There is a living area downstairs as well as one upstairs.  The house also features a cozy library, and a beautiful dining room where breakfast is served to the guests each morning.

Sunny 9My favorite thing about the house is the wrap around porch with the Sunny 10rocking chairs and ceiling fans. I love the idea of rocking on the porch (that’s the East Texas in me).

While Terrance was finishing up the tour, Sunny arrived.  She is a bundle of energy, and a ray of sunshine.  Sitting in the library Sunny and I talked about a lot of things and much more.

Sunny’s story of success is one of the American dream.  She is originally from the Philippines, and had always known that she would live in the states. One of my favorite stories that she tells is of her first taste of chocolate given to her by a G.I. who told her there was a lot of chocolate in the United States–in her young mind she could only imagine.

Getting to the states would take a lot of planning. Sunny learned about being an exchange student, and was selected for the program. After her brothers convinced her father to let her go, she was on her way to the land of chocolate.

Fast forward to Sunny being asked to sell houses with no experience while leaving a job that she was very comfortable in. She took the job and the rest is home selling history. She was a success. In fact she was a huge success. While selling homes she started educating her clients about the home buying process. Others started to ask questions, and she gladly shared her knowledge. She is still mentoring today.

The Thornton Inn Bed and Breakfast was supposed to be the real estate office for Sunny, but somewhere along the way things changed, and she and her husband decided that a bed and breakfast might be something to look into, and the rest is history. There is so much more to Mrs. Sunny Graham.  This woman of a certain age is an entrepreneur extraordinaire.   She knows that “thisis(her)yourbestyear”, and she is still in the process of sharing her knowledge with others.

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To find out more about the Thornton Inn Bed and Breakfast go to:  http://www.thethorntoninn.com.  Sunny and I will meet you on the porch.  Be prepared for Sunny’s next big project–it’s in the making.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

Long-Term Care/Living-Care Insurance Discussion

Long term care insurance 2As women of a certain age, we must have or should have things in place as we mature.  We may have learned from the example that our parents and or grandparents shared with us.  Were they prepared for the time that illness over took them?  Maybe they recovered, but maybe it took a while.  You wanted your love one to be some place where they were comfortable.  Maybe they wanted to stay in their own home–they just needed someone to check on them daily.  Where was the money coming from for these services?  Do you even know how much it cost for these services

We all want our love ones and even ourselves to be able to go into our golden years with the best care possible.  We’ve takenLong term care insurance 1 out health insurance, but it is not long-term care insurance.  Long-term care insurance pays for items that health care insurance does not.  It can pay for the cost of an assisted living facility, assistance for caring for you and more.

Long term care insurance 3Medicare and Medicaid more often than not do not pay for these basically non-medical expenses.  Let’s just be honest here, the more insurance you have, the better the facility (yep, I said it). I know personally how much it cost when a love one is in an assisted living facility and needs 24 hour a day care. I’ve seen first hand the hardships of taking care of a love one who needs care–not just financially but emotionally. Long term care insurance can help financially and even emotionally.

Premiere of Lionsgate's One of my favorite people, Angela Bassett tells of her experience with caring for love ones.  She is continuing the talk on aging and long-term care insurance. She uses the term living-care, and that’s exactly what it is. Angela is on the second leg of an initiative called the LetsTalkTour (she is a spokesperson for an insurance company*). She talks candidly about living-care in the article below that was written by Brennan Williams for the Huffington Post. Please read the article and start the conversation.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/08/angela-bassett-genworth-lets-talk-now_n_7747416.html

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Let’s talk about living-care.

*thisisyourbestyear does not endorse any insurance company, please check with you insurance carrier, and make comparisons to find the best plan for you or a love one.

Learning From Your Parents–Life Outside Your Job

parents 9Women of a certain age are taking in new boarders.  They have someone once again to take care of, to feed, to clothe and to watch out for.  No, I ‘m not talking about their children, I’m talking about their parents. More Baby Boomers/Generation Xers are taking care of aging parents with physical and mental illnesses than ever before.parents 6

Baby Boomers/Generation Xers have become caregivers at a time when they thought they would be on that cruise they had always dreamed of, seeing the USA in that motor home, starting new careers and even letting the grandchildren visit for a day or so and then sending them back home. 

parents 8Parents are moving into the extra bedroom that was going to become a media room, craft room, office or just a pretty bedroom that just looked pretty.  Some parents now know that their retirement income (social security) is not enough.  They worked on the same job for 30, 35, 40 even 45 years, but the pension is not nearly enough to fix up the aging homestead, travel, pay medical expenses–just live.  They didn’t invest outside of their job.  They didn’t invest money or time.  They have little money and no identity outside of their job “title”.  Baby Boomers/Generation Xers should learn from this experience, taking notes from their parents.  Even as the Boomers/Xers mature (not age), they should still be investing for the time when they no longer will be working at their full-time jobs knowing that they may not have enough to live comfortably for their rest of their lives–learning there is life outside of the job.

The Baby Boomers/Generation Xers should learn from their parents that sickness just happens even to those that have led healthy, active lives. If they are smokers, they should stop because they see the ravages it has done to their parents.

One of the major things that no one talks about is that Baby Boomers/Generation Xers should take heed to learn to live.  They parentsshould learn from their parents to expand their lives beyond their job.  They should expand friendships and acquaintances.

Learning from our parents never ceases even as we all mature.  Learning from their life lessons can help us to see our lives much better.

parents 3Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Parents can be your best life teachers.  You may have become the caregiver, but they are still the parent.  Treat them with respect.